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Linking Up With LinkedIn

Grace Crane, C'20
Career Center Intern

While I tend to mention LinkedIn quite a bit in my posts, it’s for a good reason! LinkedIn is one of the leading platforms in professional networking with over 630 million users, including recruiters and job seekers alike. As the internet’s largest professional network, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to help you build relationships with others, learn more about companies or industries, and market yourself as a young professional in search for employment.

As I briefly mentioned in a previous article, you are 80% more likely to be contacted by recruiters when you complete your LinkedIn and MountHired profiles. This is especially true as we are practicing social distancing – your online presence has never mattered more! With the website’s many networking features, you’ll be able to bolster your skills and improve your online visibility. Now is a better time than any to fill out your LinkedIn profile and engage with your professional network.

Before you start networking, you should have a fully completed profile. According to LinkedIn, filling out your profile greatly increases your chances of being discovered by employers. Just by adding a profile picture, you become seven times more likely to appear in searches! What’s more, simply adding your two most recent positions to your profile will make you 12 times more likely to be found by employers.

When choosing a profile picture, make sure that the photograph is a high-quality image and that you are dressed in professional attire. Next to your photo, you will see a box where you can provide a short description of yourself. You should take the time to write a summary of yourself for your profile, as this is the first thing recruiters will see after they click on your name. First impressions are very important, so make it count! I also recommend creating a custom URL for your profile, which can be found as a function on the upper-right side of your profile. I changed my URL to my full name so that it is easier to look at and much more memorable – as a bonus, it will look quite polished on a business card!

With your newly completed profile, work on forming connections with people you know from your personal life. You can connect with past teachers and professors, classmates and alumni from your high school or from the Mount, and co-workers or supervisors. To connect with alumni from the Mount, simply search for the Mount St. Mary’s University page and click on the list of alumni on the right-hand side of the screen. This wonderful feature allows users to search for alumni based on their geographical locations, areas of study, and skill sets, as well as any other titles or keywords you use as filters.

When meeting with other professionals, make sure to ask for their contact information and business card so that you can later invite them to connect on LinkedIn. If you’ve just met this person, or you have not spoken to one another for some time, send a short note with your friend request to reintroduce yourself. If connecting with an individual you have not met, explain your reason for wanting to connect. Remember that professional networking is about a mutual relationship of respect, not just about how you can benefit from the connection. Be respectful and keep in touch by asking questions and getting to know the individual as you form a genuine professional relationship.

Once you have a completed profile and strong list of professional connections, stay involved on the platform by creating and sharing engaging content. Your posts and comments should be relative and informative, demonstrate your expertise and interests, and showcase your written communication skills.

We want to continue to help you during this time, so please feel free to contact our career counselors with any questions or concerns about your job or internship search during our walk-in hours (11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays) over Zoom: We look forward to helping you navigate your journey to success.

Grace Crane, C'20
Career Center Intern